Top 5 Reasons to Visit M2SYS Healthcare Solutions at 2014 NAHAM Show

M2SYS Healthcare Solutions delivers innovative patient identification management and medical data integrity solutions.

M2SYS Healthcare Solutions will be in Booth #3307 at the 2014 NAHAM show.

Plan on attending this year’s National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) show in Hollywood, Florida? My, how time flies. Seems like only last week we were chatting and networking with all of our NAHAM friends at the 2013 annual trade show and 2014’s conference is already upon us.

This is an exciting time to work in patient access management, isn’t it? Never before has there been so much emphasis and urgency on identifying and implementing modern patient identification management and data integrity solutions to help protect patient safety and ensure data is clean, and interoperable within an Enterprise Master Patient Index environment as well as information exchange within an Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) and Health Information Exchange (HIE). The first step in patient safety and data integrity is, and always will be – accurate patient identification.

There are a lot of reasons to visit us in Booth #307 at this year’s NAHAM Exhibit Hall, here are the top 5:

#1 We are presenting a learning lab on the benefits of using biometrics for patient ID!

On Thursday May 15th from 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. M2SYS Healthcare Solutions will co-present with Novant Health on the benefits of using biometrics for patient ID across the care continuum. We encourage you to attend the Learning Lab but if you aren’t able to make it please stop by our booth in the Exhibit Hall before the session to meet Melanie Wilson, VP of Revenue Cycle, from Novant Health and ask any questions that are on your mind!

#2 – You are serious about improving medical data integrity at your facility

The trustworthiness of health data has never been more significant than it is now in the wake of the industry’s shift towards digitized medicine and the widespread adoption of electronic health records. Many in the industry are aware that the first step in establishing quality medical data is accurate patient identification. Stop by Booth #307 in the Exhibit Hall to learn more about how our patient identity management platform helps strengthen medical data integrity and can be applied across the wide spectrum of patient touchpoints including mobile, patient portals, home health, registration kiosks, and more!

#3 – You have concerns about how to adopt strict patient authentication protocols at every point of patient interaction where access to their demographic, clinical or financial data is facilitated.

The increasing complexity of managing patient identities across the explosion of tools, devices and apps has prompted many healthcare facilities to implement a scalable, ubiquitous authentication platform like RightPatient™ that can be used to identify patients across any medium. Stop by our Booth to learn more about how to establish strong patient ID protocols at any touchpoint and deploy a limitless platform that meets the demands of the new healthcare model.

#4 – Curiosity on how to establish data accuracy across an Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) is getting the best of you.  

One of the pressing problems for healthcare is finding a way to aggregate patient data into a single record to provide safer and more timely care. EMPI software solutions are great for back-end de-duplication, but alone do not address front-end patient authentication needs. RightPatient™  can seamlessly interface with EMPI software so  that patients can be identified in real-time from any location, ensuring accurate and prompt service delivery without missing any important medical history that could affect their care. Stop by Booth #307 to learn more!

#5 – You enjoy giveaways and a chance to win a $250 spa gift certificate 

Yes, we know. Part of the fun of attending the NAHAM conference is scouting the Exhibit Hall, visiting vendors, and picking up some goodies along the way. We won’t disappoint you at Booth #307 – we have some neat show giveaways and a chance for you to enter to win a $250 spa gift certificate! Now, how can you pass up that chance? Please stop and see us!

We hope that everyone has a safe journey to this year’s NAHAM conference and encourage you to stop by and see us, even if it’s just to say hello and pick up some giveaways. We enjoy seeing you and appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about patient identification and data integrity solutions for healthcare.

See you next week!

Why the ACA is Making Accurate Patient Identification Mission Critical

ACA passage puts the pressure on healthcare to get patient identification right

President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010.

The ACA as a Reality

Whether you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the 2010 law that was designed to:

— increase the quality and affordability of health insurance

— lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage

— reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government

the fact of the matter is, the law is not going anywhere. The latest statistics show that approximately 4.2 million people have enrolled in health plans as a result of the ACA, foreshadowing the inevitability that patient visit volume is bound to spike especially when you factor new patients from the ACA along with the looming retirement of baby boomers.

How the ACA Impacts Patient Identification

As the number of visits increases, the potential risk of creating a duplicate medical record and or/overlay also dramatically rises. Not to mention the fact that increases in eligibility for new patients entering the healthcare rolls also means that we could potentially see a precipitous rise in medical identity theft and healthcare fraud, already an egregious problem in the industry evidenced by the most recent Ponemon Institute Report that indicated medical identity theft cases increased by 19% in the last year.

The urgency to adopt and implement salient patient identification systems that provide 100% accuracy and help link a patient to a unique electronic medical record that properly attributes clinical information, especially across Enterprise Master Patient Indexes (EMPIs) where patients may be identified in different locations, is palpable.

The ACA, Data Integrity & Interoperability

As the healthcare industry becomes uber focused on establishing stricter data integrity policies in light of the increased interconnected ecosystem that directly promotes sharing patient data across disparate systems through the use of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), the advent of the ACA places even more pressure on facilities to implement patient identification technologies that eliminate duplicate medical records and other disparities that can negatively effect patient data integrity. Accurate patient identification is the cornerstone of data integrity and must be addressed if any facility has realistic hopes of joining HIEs with a clean conscience that their EHR systems contain exact information and are equipped with modern technology tools to ensure continued integrity.

Several patient identification technologies can play a key role in helping to ensure the transfer of clean patient data by preventing the creation of duplicate medical records and overlays and eliminating the possibility of fraud and medical identity theft at the point of service, especially as the volume of patients exponentially increases from passage of the ACA and aging baby boomers. The key for healthcare providers is choosing a technology that has been tested and certified by accredited and recognized third parties and offers the ability to store a patient’s identity template in a standardized format so information can easily and cleanly be exchanged with other systems.

As the ACA works out it’s kinks, and more people successfully enroll, the need to solidify modern tools that ensure 100% accurate patient identification becomes mission critical.

What are some other potential problems that you think the ACA will cause for patient identification in healthcare? Please share them with us in the comments!


@RightPatient Hosting This Week’s #HITsm Tweetchat on Patient Identification in Healthcare

RightPatient will host this week's #HITsm tweet chat on patient identifciation and data matching

Join RightPatient™ on February 7th to discuss patient identification and data matching during the weekly #HITsm Tweet chat.

Often considered one of if not the most important challenges to overcome in healthcare, the topic of establishing an increase in accurate patient identification and data matching has seen a significant rise in urgency over the past year as more health IT initiatives are launched.

Despite the recent collaboration by the ONC and other entities on recommendations to the industry via findings from a study to assess current industry capabilities for matching patients with their health information, a lot needs to be accomplished in order to raise patient identification and data matching accuracy and many questions still remain on how soon this may come to fruition for the industry.

In order to raise more awareness of the difficulties to establish any type of meaningful changes across the industry for patient identification and data matching, we asked the good folks @HealthStandards who administer the weekly #HITsm tweet chat, if we could offer the topic of patient identification and data matching as a topic of discussion. We are excited to report that this week’s chat (follow #HITsm on Twitter) will be dedicated to patient identification and data matching!

The chat will be held this Friday, from 12 pm – 1pm EDT and those who wish to participate can find more details on the chat as well as the topics that will be discussed by visiting the HealthStandards Web site.

Interested in participating in the discussion? Join us this Friday at 12pm and follow hashtag #HITsm to learn more and give your two cents on the topic.

What patient identification and data matching issues do you find to be the most important as we move forward?

Accurate Patient Identification Along the Care Continuum

biometric patient identification is gaining steam in healthcare due to its ability to accurately identify patients without a shadow of a doubt

Biometric patient identification systems are gaining momentum in healthcare. Seen here is a handheld iris recognition camera tethered to a smart tablet for bedside and mobile identity verification.

Ask any healthcare professional who is in synch with some of the major issues that the healthcare industry faces about the persistent problem of establishing accurate patient identification and chances are they will agree that it continues to be a top priority. Current patient identification and data matching initiaves underway by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) offer practical suggestions for matching patients with their health information.

A quick scroll down the list illustrates that the bulk of recommendations centers on standardizing patient identification attributes, supporting non-traditional matching attributes such as email addresses to improve data matching, enhancing EHRs to include the capability of providing duplicate medical record reports, and alerting patients to the importance of keeping their demogrphic information current and up-to-date. These are all very solid building blocks to advance the goal of accurate patient identification but seem to place the emphasis on accurate patient identification at the point of entry and does little to address the importance of verifying a patient’s identity at each touch point throughout the care continuum.

As clinicians know, ensuring patient identification accuracy prior to administering any type of care from medication distribution to diagnostic testing to radiology and oncology services and beyond is essential to make sure the right care is delivered to the right patient. For example, according to research from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1.5 million preventable adverse drug effects (ADEs) happen in the United States each year and ADEs cost the United States $37.6 billion each year, with approximately $17 billion of these costs associated with preventable errors. The healthcare industry continues to struggle with errors due to the inability to accurately identify patients prior to care administration. It is costing the industry billions of dollars, not to mention jeopardizing the safety of patients and sullying the brand of healthcare facilities who are victims of patient misidentification that leads to in accurate care.

Most hospitals have policies in place that require clinicians to verify a patient’s identity prior to administering any type of care. The problem is that some of the patient identification technologies that facilities rely on like bar coded wrist bands have become antiquated and are highly susceptible to fraud and errors. Thus, even though a clinician may dutifully check a patient’s ID before say, giving them medication or prior to administering a test, the back-end technology most hospitals rely on to establish identification accuracy does not support the evolving healthcare landscape that requires adopting modern systems that eliminate any possibility of misidentification because they are based on verifying identity through a patient’s physiological characteristics. Characteristics which define individual identity that can’t be forged, swapped, or shared. Technologies like using biometrics for patient identification.

Technolgies such as biometric patient identification are gaining momentum in healthcare settings not only for their ability to accurately identify a patient upon entry into a healthcare facility but also for their utility to quickly and accurately identify patients bedside, in home health, the ER, and other mobile environments or in any other setting prior to care administration. The difference that biometrics brings to the table is it’s ability to not only provide patient identification accuracy without a shadow of a doubt, but also the ability to interface directly with tablets or smart devices and return a patient’s digital health care record in CCD format. The advent of biometrics for patient identification has significantly altered the approach to ensuring ID accuracy, and promises to help reduce or even eliminate errors that are caused by misidentification along that care continuum.


5 Patient Identification and Data Matching Issues the New HIMSS “Innovator in Residence” Must Address

accurate patient identification and data matching are important issues for the healthcare industry

The new HHS “Innovator in Residence faces some tough issues on patient identification and data matching.

On the heels of the recent announcement by HIMSS and the Department of Health and Human Services to hire an “Innovator in Residence” and make progress on the establishment of a nationwide patient data matching strategy, we thought it would be pertinent to outline some of the issues this person will face that require careful consideration. If the end goal is to establish a more consistent, industry standard approach that redefines patient identification and data matching accuracy, this new leader faces some tough challenges on the road ahead. Matching the right patient to the right data requires almost heroic efforts across an extremely disparate healthcare network and is the cornerstone of any viable health information exchange (HIE). Here are our top 5 issues that the new HIMSS/HHS “Innovator in Residence” must address:

1. Cost – Any new patient identification and data matching initiative will likely involve assessing the potential financial impact to healthcare facilities since any solution will most likely involve incorporating accurate matching algorithms into certified EHRs plus making changes to fields that capture soon to be standardized patient identifying attributes. With the recent changes that the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use requirements brought to the industry and the amount of dollars already shelled out for health IT, investment weary healthcare providers may balk at any solution that requires additional funds allocated to EHR resources to completely replace a system.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released results from a study on developing an open source algorithm “to test the accuracy of their patient matching algorithms or be utilized by vendors that do not currently have patient matching capabilities built into their systems.” Their results indicated:

“During the environmental scan, many indicated that replacing their current systems would be cost prohibitive. As such, it is not suggested that a standardized patient matching algorithm be developed or required. In a more limited way, however, there is value in developing an open source algorithm or updating and supporting an existing open source algorithm that EHR vendors may choose to utilize in their products.”

2. Patient buy-in and accountability – As noble as the healthcare industry’s efforts to establish more accurate patient identification and data matching standards, the entire initiative is moot unless the new Innovator in Residence forges best practices and policies to encourage patients to keep their demographic information up-to-date and accurate. The new Innovator in Residence would be wise to capitalize on the patient engagement momentum spurred by Meaningful Use Stage 2 and extend the patient engagement initiative to include patient accountability for demographic information accuracy. Without patient buy-in and involvement, the industry can’t reasonably expect any worthwhile patient identification and data matching initiative to lift it’s wheels of the ground.

3. Technology – Incorporating non-traditional data attributes to improve patient matching is a great example of a “wish list” item by industry advocates pushing for stricter patient identification and data matching but currently, most EHR systems do not support the collection of this information in a standardized field format. Any legitimate effort to standardize patient identifiers and substantially increase data matching will most likely require new technologies or modifications of existing ones to meet these goals. On the surface, requests to add demographic fields to existing EHR interfaces or incorporate standardized deterministic or probabilistic algorithms may seem like small changes that don’t require a lot of effort, but in reality even the simplest of changes require health IT vendors to make significant investments in upgrading or completely replacing existing technology.

4. Rekindling the national patient identifier debate – Did you know that it’s been 14 years since Congress placed a moratorium on funding research and implementation of a national patient identifier (NPI)? 14 years. Sure to be rekindled as a debate topic that closely coincides with the industry’s push to standardize patient demographic data, the idea of establishing a NPI needs to be addressed now and the new Innovator in Residence should be standing behind the healthcare industry podium leading the discussion. Sure, there are lingering questions on the privacy and security implications of creating a NPI, issues surrounding who will manage and have access to any databases created, but ultimately the topic deserves to be put back on the table and expectations are that the Innovator in Residence will spearhead the efforts. Many people believe that an NPI is no different than the plethora of other personal identifiers we deal with in our everyday lives – social security numbers, employee IDs, and driver’s licenses numbers just to name a few. Why should the NPI be treated any differently? We surmise that the new Innovator in Residence will have to address a NPI sooner rather than later.

5. The validity of health information exchanges (HIEs) – Although there are myriad reasons to develop HIEs, the bottom line is that their existence is meant to facilitate the fluid exchange of health information between disparate systems in order to improve individual and population health. What often seems to often be left out in the conversation about HIEs is the introduction of a foolproof patient identification technology that can uniquely tie together a patient with their electronic health record in a standardized data format to help ensure high levels of data integrity. After all, what good is developing an integrated HIE without a back end patient identification system that prevents the creation of duplicate medical records and overlays?

The new HIMSS/HHS Innovator in Residence faces some tough challenges to help tie together and incorporate a nationwide patient identification and data matching initiatives. What points would you add to our list that are critical for this new position to address?

The Only Biometric Patient Identification Search to Truly Prevent Duplicate Medical Records and Eliminate Identity Theft

Biometric patient identification in health care only prevents duplicates and overlays and eliminates identity theft at the point of service if it is one to many.

In health are, only one to many (1:N) biometric patient identification searches can prevent duplicates & overlays eliminate identity fraud. Click on the picture for a larger image.

It may not be breaking news that health care facilities are increasingly evaluating the use of biometrics for identifying patients to help prevent duplicate medical records, stop health care fraud at the point of service, increase patient safety, and reduce liabilities. The adoption rate is quickly increasing as more health care organizations realize the potential that biometric patient identification has to achieve these goals plus provide a concrete audit trail of patient activity.

Despite the fact that using biometrics for patient identification is not a brand new concept, there continues to be confusion on how back end biometric searches work and a clear distinction of which searches truly have the ability to prevent a duplicate or overlay from being created and can prevent someone else from assuming your identity.

Let’s review.

We wrote an article last year that appeared in Advance for Health Information Professionals that defines patient identification and patient verification in health care that you may want to review prior to reading the rest of this post.

What you need to know:

Any type of biometric search that is preceded by a question such as, “What is your date of birth (DOB), name, social security number, eye color, ethnicity, etc.” or any other piece of demographic information is called a one to few (1:Few) search. Essentially what this means is that within the database that the biometric search is executed, the total amount of records are segmented prior to the actual biometric scan and subsequent search. So, instead of you walking into a medical facility and providing only your biometric information (for example, an iris scan) and the search combing through all of the records in the database to identify you, hospital staff are first segmenting the database prior to determining your identity.

Why this is important:

The goal of any biometric patient identification system should be to:

  • prevent duplicate medical records and overlays
  • increase patient safety
  • eliminate health care fraud and medical identity theft at the point of service
  • reduce risk
  • overcome issues resulting from cultural naming conventions (for example, finding the correct William Jones out of numerous possibilities)

If you rely on a search that requires a qualifying demographic question before scanning your biometric information, the search does not cover all of the medical records in your electronic medical record database, rather it segments the list of names into a much shorter list (for example, all patients with the DOB 01/01/55) before searching for your record. Although this can be partially effective in preventing duplicates and eliminating fraud, it is not a unassailable way to ensure that a patient’s safety is protected by searching the entire medical record database for duplicates, overlays, or fraud. In addition, since you can re-visit the hospital and provide a false birth date after you have already been enrolled and then be enrolled again under the fake profile, is this truly preventing identity theft at the point of service?

Only one to many (1:N) biometric searches have the capability to truly prevent duplicates, overlays, and eliminate identity fraud at the point of service because they are designed to search the entire electronic health record database, not just a segmented list of individuals after asking a qualifying question. 1:Few searches do not search the entire database when performed.

Have you invested in biometric search technology based on 1:Few searches or are you considering an investment? Curious to know more about how searches work, and what types of questions you should ask during the research and due diligence of vendors? Take a look at our Resource Center for detailed information on how biometric searches work and what types of questions you should be asking to biometric patient identification solution vendors.

Remember, if any other piece of information is required from you before executing a biometric search, it is not a true way to prevent duplicates and overlays and eliminate identify theft at the point of service.


Top 5 Reasons to Visit us in Booth #219 at this Week’s NAHAM Patient Access Trade Show & Conference

come see M2SYS at the 39th annual NAHAM show in Atlanta and get a free demo of their RightPatient iris biometrics patient identification solution

The 39th annual NAHAM trade show and conference is May 16 – 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

May is always an exciting time of the year for us here at M2SYS because the National Association of Healthcare Access Management’s (NAHAM) annual symposium and trade show falls during the month. And to top it off, this year’s conference is in our hometown of Atlanta!

If you aren’t familiar with NAHAM, here is a brief synopsis of who they are from their Web site:

“The National Association of Healthcare Access Management is the leading resource in Patient Access Services.

We establish best practices and subject matter expertise; provide an array of networking, education, and certification opportunities; and enable our members to influence and promote high quality delivery of Patient Access Services.

Patient access services professionals provide quality services in registration and all of its support processes to patients, providers and payors into, through and out of their health care experience.”

The annual conference theme this year is: “Leading the Way: A Brave New World of Patient Access” and promises to be one of the best shows yet as the NAHAM staff has assembled an impressive agenda and speakers to talk about current topics in patient access management.

So, why should you stop and see us this year at the show? Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. Solution demos – Here at M2SYS , we are excited to be a vendor in this year’s NAHAM Exhibit Hall (stop and see us in Booth #219) to meet some of the attendees and demonstrate our RightPatient™ hybrid biometric patient identification solution with iris recognition, a technology that has caught on with many hospitals and is spreading rapidly.

2. Entertainment and giveaways – We have some special surprises in our booth this year too. Stop by to meet and take a photo with Jessica Black, Miss United States 2010 and enter your name to win a prize so secretive we can’t tell you what it is…you will have to stop by our booth and see for yourself! (Hint – it has wheels)

3. Education – Accurate patient identification has become a hot topic in healthcare since accurate and effective treatment along the care continuum hinges on the ability to identity a patient correctly. Now, more than ever, it’s important to educate on what healthcare biometrics technology options are available to help ensure patient identification accuracy.

4. Mobile patient identification – We will be demonstrating a mobile iris patient identification solution in our booth that medical practitioners can use with a smart device like an Android smart phone and identify patients anywhere in a hospital setting including the ability to identify unconscious patients and patients en route to the hospital for more coordinated and effective treatment.

5. Due diligence – This is the time to ask all of the questions on your mind about the benefits of using biometrics for patient identification in a patient access setting. It is critical that you perform the necessary due diligence before investing in any type of patient identification solution. Our staff will be available to demonstrate the technology and answer any questions you may have.

Hoping to see you at the 39th annual NAHAM conference this year in Atlanta!

Effective Communication Directly Linked to Quality Patient Care

A recent report suggests that effective and quality communication increases patient safety levels.

Effective communication leads to higher levels of patient safety

A new report released by Healthgrades suggests that hospitals with the highest patient ratings for physician and nursing communications on average have had fewer problems with patient safety issues. The report analyzed patient safety data for hospitalizations between 2008 and 2010 and found that quality communication among healthcare workers led to fewer surgical inpatient deaths with treatable complications among other preventable conditions. Key research findings in the report include:

  • 15% more overall patient safety events occurred in hospitals performing in the bottom 10% for physician communication, compared to those in the top 10%;
  • 27% more overall patient safety events occurred in hospitals performing in the bottom 10% for nursing communication, compared to the top 10;
  • 13% more patients at hospitals performing in the top 10% for patient satisfaction reported they received instructions on what to do when they left the hospital, compared to the bottom 10% — key guidance that underscores the importance of communication, according to the report.

Kristin Reed, vice president of clinical quality programs at HealthGrades and the author of the report said that hospitals need to improve on information extraction from patients and not assume that the absence of questions or responses means that someone fully understands everything they have been told.

The report analyzed approximately 40 million Medicare hospitalizations in 5,000 hospitals from 2008 to 2010. The analysis was conducted using a method developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to calculate event rates for 13 indicators of patient safety. Using this data as the basis for the report, Healthgrades estimates 254,000 patient safety events among Medicare patients could have been prevented, and 56,367 Medicare patients who died experienced one or more of these events.

Communication in healthcare is increasingly coming under the microscope from industry analysts and watchdogs as well as consumers themselves who have greater access to an explosion of information and data about the industry in addition to peer reviews and testimonials. It seems as if there has been a significant power shift from the industry to the consumer during the information age as transparency now rules and healthcare facilities are no longer able to mask their problems and sweep them under the rug. We applaud the patient safety movement and hope that more within the healthcare industry take notice and start to explore some of the new technological solutions available that directly impact the level of patient safety.

What’s your take? How have you observed patient safety initiatives having a direct impact on the quality of healthcare?